Phase 1(Initial Experience & Feel): Using assistance(high rail fence).
“Curious? What does SIF feel like”
Find a rail, fence, wall,…etc. that is taller than your head. Something high to grab when you start falling. You are standing with full body weight on two pedals. If you fall/step off one pedal = disaster. Twisted ankles, shin bruises and lacerations from pedal spikes.
Carefully climb onto unicycle with pedal down at 6/12 position. Then slowly rotate to to 3/9 position and relax. How’s that? Did it shoot out? Are you on the ground, yet?
Initial Experience & Feel:
2. The unicycle has mind of it’s own. Why can’t it stand still?
3. My saddle has become a wild/twisty animal that wants to break my arm off?
4. As soon as I start pedaling, I become a human pretzel. Everything collapses?
5. Help my muscles are beginning to cramp.
Do’s and Don’ts:
Always mount the “down pedal” on the unicycle side away from the wall. Never the other side(next wall) = you will get wedged into wall.
Grip the saddle “dead center” above the seat post. It will be fighting you, but the center transmits the least amount of torque.
Get into the 3/9 pedal position just hold everything tight. Then start to make small movements and experience and get familiar. Feel how your body can lean frwd/back, side/side as you stand on the pedals. Hold saddle tight and locked into the body. Don’t let it buck you off.
Now, apply a small amount of rotation in both direction. Like doing a “micro idle”. The unicycle not only rocks fwd/back, but it can also roll fwd/back a small amount. When you rotate the pedal with even tension, the unicycle stays straight. Everything is aligned and controlled just by your feet.
The feeling of your total body weight across 2 pedals is weird, but coordination will soon kick in. Coordination = less energy/strength required.
This is what I did for about year or two. I was not serious about learning SIF. From watching unicycle expert videos, it looked like you can either do it or you can’t. I gave it a quick try, once. Nope. I can’t.
So, I would just do this for exercise. Find a nice long 20-50 ft long rail, and do it a few times. You will get a good leg and arm pump in a confined space. No need to find a trail or park.
One day the thought of “maybe I can do SIF” popped into my head. Why not? All this rail exercise has definitely built strength, coordination and some control. Let’s do it.
Let’s get serious and figure out this SIF thing.
Phase 2(Getting Better): Using less assistance(low rail/wall/fence)